Why do so many people think fame is so wonderful? The latest victim of this syndrome is Scottish signing sensation, Susan Boyle. This is the frumpy spinster with the voice of an angel who took the world by storm after an audition for UK TV show, Britain’s Got Talent. The clip of Boyle’s warbling made it into cyberspace and within days had attracted millions of hits. People were sucked-in by the remarkable beauty of her voice in marked contrast – it has to be said in fairness – to her rather plain appearance. But the world loves a battler making good and Ms Boyle became an overnight global sweetheart. With the world as her apparent oyster, Ms Boyle charmed most people who saw her on-screen appearances. It hasn’t taken long for the bubble to burst, however.
On the eve of the talent quest grand final, Ms Boyle was reported to have collapsed many times in tears. Indeed, she is sad to have packed her bags ready to walk away from the whole thing. Leaping to her defence was her older brother who wailed that she lacked the support given to major celebrities. Wow! How woeful have we become? Now when someone achieves a degree of fame they are supposed to have – actually be entitled to – a fully-fledged support system whatever that might entail. No doubt it includes a publicist to maximise the advantage of all that media attention, a personal trainer to help overcome any physical deficits, a manager to keep things running according to schedule, and a lawyer to keep the critics in check and negotiate fabulous deals to ensure this Warhol-like 15 minutes of fame becomes a major money-earner. But what remains a complete mystery is why people chase fame and fortune if they’re not ready to handle it if and when it happens.
After all, it was Ms Boyle’s personal choice to enter the competition. She may not have had faith that she would be as successful as it turned out but, having effectively won the jackpot, she can’t now complain that her life has changed. It’s a familiar refrain these days: as soon as something goes wrong we look everywhere but inside ourselves for someone or something to blame. It’s always somebody else’s fault. It’s fair enough to have some sympathy for Ms Boyle’s predicament – it would catch any of us off-guard – but, when the world is worshipping you, don’t stamp your feet and complain that it’s not fair. Spare us!